FDA Issues Alert Over Reports of Cancer Linked to Breast Implants

After receiving reports of people with breast implants being diagnosed with multiple types of cancer, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning for doctors and patients on Thursday.

According to Binita Ashar, the director of the Office of Surgical and Infection Control Devices in the agency’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, as of last week, the FDA has received dozens of reports of cancers in the capsule or near the scar tissue that forms around breast implants.

The announcement said that ten of the reports were about squamous cell carcinoma related to breast implants and 12 medical device reports were about various lymphomas related to breast implants.

People who reported having cancer had symptoms of swelling, pain, lumps, or skin changes, Ashar added.

Although the agency determined- after reviewing the reports – that such occurrences are rare, it wanted to provide immediate, clear, and understandable information to the public considering that safety risks with medical devices were identified.

A preliminary review of published literature established fewer than 20 cases of squamous cell carcinoma and fewer than 30 cases of various lymphomas in the capsule around the breast implant.

Ashar said the reports the agency received are separate from the reports of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, which the FDA started warning about over a decade ago.

FDA emphasized in a separate report that they do not have enough information at the moment to say whether breast implants cause these cancers or if some implants pose a higher risk than others.

It also added that any instances of squamous cell carcinoma, lymphoma, or any cancer near the scar tissue around breast implants should be immediately reported to the FDA, stressing that accurate data is crucial for faster science-based decision-making.

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